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BMWCCA corrals rare?

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by old'n'slow, Oct 4, 2010.

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    old'n'slow

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    OK. First post here. Thanks for having a look.

    I've noticed an apparent dearth of support from the BMWCCA when it comes to corrals at events where BMW is a prominent marque.

    As someone who is somewhat new to club activities and who frequents Mid-Ohio, I am always astonished at the amazing numbers of Corvette owners who turn up. I don't know anything about them or their club, but with Corvettes in ALMS, they put together an amazing display of cars for their corrals. It is an impressive sight and really gets a lot of attention adding to the mystique. Where is BMWCCA? The marque known as the Ultimate Driving Machine that is fielding cars in ALMS these days is, in my opinion, missing a golden opportunity to attract yet more attention. The enthusiasts in the Corvette corrals with whom I have spoken are fabulous ambassadors for Corvette. I can't help but think it would do the same for BMW. What a nice way to put the hoary old myth about snooty BMW owners to rest. At the few BMW corrals I have had the pleasure to attend in the past, I have met nice people who love BMW and understand its motorsports roots and history. Why is BMW not taking advantage of this low cost publicity? Given the rather ample budgets afforded the ALMS race cars, the cost of sponsoring a corral seems nominal and would certainly go a long way towards bringing members in from greater distances for specific events. I was planning on going to the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, but passed when I heard there was to be no corral.

    Is there an element here I'm missing? Is there a reason corrals are not a good idea? Thanks in advance.

    Doug
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    granthr

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    BMW owners are too busy out enjoying there cars!!! :D Corvette owners don't drive their cars, they just like to stand around and talk about them. :) Okay, this is tongue in cheek, but there is a hint of truth here.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    No; not really.

    BMW corrals are not rare, but they aren't as common as those for Corvettes. Road America, for instance, has had a more developed "Corvette Corral" than the "Bimmer Bivouac" for years. It is also more often tended and filled with Corvettes. During some race events, there will be no BMWs at all in the corral area.

    It's true that we tend to play with our cars more than park and look at them. BMW CCA holds more of what I consider to be 'skills' events than the Corvette club and, I think we generally do a better job of it. I have instructed Corvette owners who had been through Corvette Club 'schools' and found them nearly clueless. They do more 'social' things like driving tours where they'll be able to parade like a HOG group of Harley owners, shows where they get to park and display, and simple get togethers like dinners and picnics. At least, that's my impression from working alongside a member of the local club here. You'll find BMWs competing in autocrosses, road rallies, and our own club racing series. We rent tracks for driver schools almost everywhere and we also run car control and teen Street Survival schools in many areas. We also do driving tours and shows,golf outings, dinners, and show up at racetracks for corrals, but the sheer number of activities we host sometimes makes a corral at the races almost superfluous.

    Buckeye and Northern Ohio chapters both have a lot going on. (I was one of the founding members of NOC, so I know both well.) Keep your eyes open and get involved. For that matter, maybe you're the guy who needs to be the sparkplug to get a bunch of BMWs to show up in force for every race where there are BMWs to support. Northern Ohio Chapter didn't have an autocross series before I showed up. ;)
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    steven s

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    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I do see a few 'vettes at every BMW DE that I attend. They do drive them too. ;)
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    MGarrison

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    Apparently, the costs are not nominal - see the following thread:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1510620

    And then there's who actually hosts the event and pays for it - are you saying the 'CCA should make that a priority at the national level, organized & paid by 'CCA national? If so, that's an issue for the national board. If a chapter is organizing and paying for the event, then, as indicated by posts in the above-listed bimmerforums thread, a judgment has to be made if it's an appropriate expenditure of the chapter's funds and enough of a benefit for chapter members. If you're suggesting BMW NA host and pay for corrals, even though that might seem logical from an enthusiast's perspective, I would guess the cost-benefit analysis would indicate that although enthusiasts such as club members and BMW racing fans may be some sort of 'keystone' for the marque, that on the whole they're (we're?) such a ridiculously small percentage of BMW's buyers/owners/target-market, that the relative handful of people who might attend NA-hosted ALMS corrals would make the effort & expense of hosting such events not worthwhile to BMW NA.

    I would speculate the Corvette's corral turnout is due to it's 57 yr. history as America's sports-car icon and just-as-long racing history. I wonder if there's someone in Germany saying they see large numbers of Porsches show up in support of Porsches racing in various venues around Germany, but for gawd's sake, where are the Corvette owners?!

    Although I could make it to neither event, last year the Buckeye Chapter had a meet & greet of the Turner Motorsports crew @ Mid-Ohio, and 3 chapters joined forces for a 'CCA ALMS Mid-Ohio Corral this year:
    • Member

    old'n'slow

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    Thanks for the input. CRKrieger, you post on mye28.com right? I am fiver diver over there....

    I can appreciate the complexities of such an endeavor as organizing a corral, and I don't think that one group in particular should shoulder the burden for funding a corral.

    I'm not sure why both the National CC folks as well as BMW NA doesn't see fit to subsidize such activities since it's where they are, I would think, more likely to attract new club members and new customers at such events than at the more focused events like driving schools, et. al..

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I am willing to pay a premium for a corral. Likely there are a few companies with enthusiast-aimed products that might be willing to pay for the ability to market to a motivated and somewhat captive audience.

    These are just a few opinions. I like the idea of being more involved in the creation of events like these. I'm fairly good at it, but owning a small business in a recession is a time consuming affair and it may be another year or two before I have more "free" time at my disposal.

    Lastly, we shouldn't minimize the impact even relatively simple activities can have. I attended the corral at the Vintage weekend at Mid Ohio along with a new CCA member and friend to whom I had sold my E30 M3. He was dubious about any perceived benefit to having joined, but after being cheered at during the parade lap, and enjoying the camaraderie of the others in the corral, he is convinced and has turned from ambivalent to someone truly excited to be a part of the club.

    Thanks again for the responses.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Yeah; I thought leaving out the spaces and punctuation in my name would conceal my identity here ...

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